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Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler reacts to 3-0 FA Cup defeat to League 1 Peterborough

Andy Hessenthaler felt his players deserved better than they got in Sunday's FA Cup second round defeat at Peterborough.

Whites were on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline but the game hung in the balance until the final 11 minutes when Frankie Kent and Mo Eisa struck to add to Ivan Toney's spectacular seventh minute strike.

Moments before Peterborough's second Dover midfielder Jack Munns had gone close to an equaliser with a shot that grazed the outside of the post.

Boss Hessenthaler felt his side should have had a penalty with the score at 1-0 when Ricky Modeste was caught in the box. He also said the third Posh goal was offside.

The Whites boss said: "The performance was excellent.

"We've come to a League 1 side that are flying at the moment and more than matched them in good spells of the game.

"We said at half-time we've just got to find a bit more quality because we were giving the ball away a bit too cheaply at times and not really under pressure either

"Our game plan was to come and make it difficult for them in terms of going to press the ball and I thought we did that excellently.

"We said at half-time keep believing, find a bit more quality, we can score, we'll get a goal and I thought we deserved to second half.

"Up until the second goal we were the better side, at that time I thought we were on top.

"We looked like the team that could go and get a goal, but the second goal has killed us.

Dover midfielder Jack Munns holds his head in anguish after going close against Peterborough .Picture: Andy Jones
Dover midfielder Jack Munns holds his head in anguish after going close against Peterborough .Picture: Andy Jones

"I've looked at the stats, they had 15 shots, we had 11, they had six corners, we had six corners, but we're away from home, I expect them to have a bit of that to be honest.

"We caused them problems, second half we've hit the outside of the post and then they went up the other end and scored, which was a shame, but before that I thought we had a definite penalty.

"Ricky definitely got caught, he's got a gash on his shin to show for it as well.

"(There) Could have been a handball leading up that as well, so I think the ref got that one wrong.

"The third one I'm not even going to talk about that really because it wasn't our fault, it was the officials' fault.

"He was two yards offside, I think everybody in the ground could see that, on the screen, it was embarrassing."

Toney's stunning 35-yard volley has every chance of being voted goal-of-the-round but Hessenthaler was pleased with the response his side produced after going behind so early.

He said: "A lot of teams might have folded, especially going away from home to Peterborough.

"They could have completely dropped their heads and it could have been over as a contest within 20 minutes.

Dover's Bobby-Joe Taylor on the ball against Peterborough United Picture: Andy Jones
Dover's Bobby-Joe Taylor on the ball against Peterborough United Picture: Andy Jones

"When you come away from home, or even at home, the first 20 minutes is crucial, (you have to) stay in the game don't do anything silly but unfortunately Will (De Havilland) has held his hands up, he made a mistake.

"I think he knows if he listens to Worgs (keeper Lee Worgan), Worgs called for it, if he just ducks underneath it, it goes through to the keeper, but he was struggling to head it, but listen, what a fantastic strike. That's why he's playing at this level.

"It was a great effort but credit to the boys we kept or heads, we kept going and we kept working."

Hessenthaler also paid tribute to Dover's 500-strong travelling support, who provided constant and vociferous backing.

He added: "I thought the fans were outstanding, at the start of the game they were singing and right to the end and they clapped us off.

"I'm glad we put a performance on for them. (I'm) Gutted that we did not get through, but credit to the fans, they came out and did great for the boys today."

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